Governor Seyi Makinde has said the delay in the emergence of a new Alaafin of Oyo and Soun of Ogbomoso is due to his insistence that due process must be strictly followed in the emergence of the two monarchs.
The stool of Alaafin of Oyo had been vacant since the demise of Oba Lamidi Adeyemi on April 22, 2022, while the Soun of Ogbomoso has remained unoccupied since Oba Jimoh Oyewumi died on December 13, 2021.
Speaking on Tuesday during the swearing-in of Justice Iyabo Yerima as Substantive Chief Judge of Oyo State, Makinde stressed that he has communicated to the relevant quarters that the institutional framework for the emergence of a new Alaafin and Soun must be diligently followed.
Drawing from previous experience in the State, Makinde said he would rather have the process delayed for the sake of due process rather than record a repeat of a situation where a monarch is removed by the courts for failure to abide by due process.
According to Makinde, once due process is followed, the state would not fret if anyone goes to court to challenge the process of emergence of any monarch.
He said: “While coming to the office this morning, I saw in the news that the installation of a new Alaafin of Oyo and Soun of Ogbomoso is being delayed by me.
“What they fail to say is that I have already communicated that the institutional framework should be followed in the selection of a new Alaafin and new Soun.
“When you follow due process, things generally work out more efficiently. We have gone through, in this state, a situation where a king was removed by the judiciary after being on the throne for over 22 years and I said to myself that not under my watch are we going to repeat the same mistake.
“I will rather delay and have due process followed and then we know that if anybody decides to go to court after that, the exercise will be a nullity. I believe this is what we need in Nigeria right now, strong institutions but we also need people to build strong institutions.”
Makinde said the swearing-in of Yerima typified his keenness on adherence to due process, with the event only held after Yerima had been confirmed by the State House of Assembly.
The Oyo governor said Yerima was fitting to be Chief Judge having grown through the ranks, thereby possessing the requisite experience and has shown leadership and a strong conviction to do what is right.
The governor assured of financial support for the state judiciary, within available resources, while expressing delight at the intention of the new Chief Judge to have a conducive court environment spread across the state.
In her brief remarks at the event, the new Oyo Chief Judge expressed her appreciation to the governor for the trust and faith reposed in her.
Yerima disclosed that the state’s courts were currently undergoing some major infrastructural development while appealing for more support to expedite the completion of the projects.
She also revealed that the state High court in Ogbomosho will be completed and ready for commissioning before May 29.
Furthermore, she noted that the judiciary had enjoyed maximum cooperation and support under the Makinde administration